Soprano Diana Damrau, described by The Sunday Times as “the most dazzling star to have emerged from Germany in recent years” was born in Bavaria. The region's capital, Munich, was the birthplace of Richard Strauss, and in March 2009 a programme of the composer's songs was presented at the city's Gasteig Philharmonie, with Damrau accompanied by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under its Chief Conductor, Christian Thielemann.
Strauss loved female voices,” says Damrau, “and he explores some extreme possibilities in these many-layered songs, each with its different point of view. Sensitivity to the words is vital to telling the story of each song, to capturing the rapid changes of mood and all the colours.”
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.